Cycling the Voie Verte
One of the delights of Burgundy in June 2007 was its Voie Verte, a network of cycle routes based on disused railway lines and canal towpaths. The whole network is 117km long and over a period of a month we cycled the whole length. In fact we did it twice because we had to do a return trip to get back to the motorhome.
The Burgundy countryside is particularly attractive - full of vineyards producing wines we could not afford - and the Voie Verte is cyclist-friendly because (with one notable exception) it doesn't go up and down too much. The exception is the approach to the Tunnel du Bois Clair which is very steep indeed. We tackled that bit on foot.
The Tunnel du Bois Clair once carried the railway track but no longer does so, it is about one and a half kilometres long and very dark and damp. It was great fun to cycle through because cycling in the dark gives a great sense of speed. This tunnel is closed every October for the winter as the bats that live in the tunnel are hibernating. Unfortunately it was too dark to see any bats when we went through.
The Voie Vert was also a very convenient - and safe - way of getting to a series of very attractive small towns, Cluny Buxy & Chagny for example, complete with Roman ruins, city walls, wonderfully knackered medieval buildings (plus many restored to within an inch of their lives), and splendid country markets.